Ayana Ratliff's clutch jumper with 6.4 seconds remaining pushes women's basketball team to exhilarating 45-44 victory over Clippers

Ayana Ratliff's clutch jumper with 6.4 seconds remaining pushes women's basketball team to exhilarating 45-44 victory over Clippers

The Berkeley College women's basketball team won its second consecutive game on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Clippers of the University of Maine at Machias by a score of 45-44. The game took place at the Hill Center on the campus of St. Joseph's College of Brooklyn. With the win, the Knights improved their record to 2-4 on the 2017-2018 campaign, while the Clippers fell to 4-8. Following the game, Head Coach Alex Kuchar gave his thoughts.

"Today's victory was an exemplification of the resilience that our team has," Kuchar said. "This was a back-and-forth game that could have gone either way, and our group hung in there and was able to record a huge victory in the final seconds. I'm very proud of our student-athletes for staying with the game plan, believing in one another, and working together this afternoon. This is a fantastic way to close out calendar year 2017, and we're looking forward to continuing to improve as we bring our first winning streak of the season into a new year."

The difference-maker in this one was Ayana Ratliff. After scoring 41 points in a blowout victory over Five Towns College this past Wednesday, the junior guard hit a game-winning seven-foot jumper with 6.4 seconds remaining to give Berkeley College its second consecutive victory. In addition to nailing the clutch go-ahead basket, Ratliff posted a game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds. She also added two steals and blocked a shot. Ashley Duplan put forth an aggressive effort, as she finished with 11 points and eight rebounds (including three on the offensive glass), and it was veteran Ebony Lofton snatching a game-high 11 rebounds.

Despite the loss for the Clippers, Caitlyn Lyons led the way for her team, as she posted a team-high 12 points, a game-best five steals, and also grabbed six rebounds. She connected on all four of her attempts from the charity stripe as well. Alicen Brooks scored 11 points, and Ami Carver put together a very versatile effort, as she scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds in 35 minutes of action.

In a game that was exceptionally close throughout, neither team would take more than a six-point lead the entire 40 minutes of action. Machias' biggest edge was the aforementioned six points, and the Knights' largest advantage was five. The teams were tied at 25 apiece at the half, and the Clippers held a slim 36-34 lead following three quarters of action. In the fourth quarter – there were six lead changes in total – with the final one coming via Ratliff's timely bucket with 6.5 ticks left.

The Knights connected on 32.8 percent of their attempts for the game (20-61), compared to 26.7 percent for the Clippers (16-60). The University of Maine at Machias held a slim 44-43 edge in the rebounding department, and the teams were nearly even in the turnover department, with the Clippers committing 21 miscues compared to 20 for Berkeley College. The Knights dominated in the paint, scoring 34 points there compared to 16 for the University of Maine at Machias.

The Knights will now enjoy some time off before heading to Concord, New Hampshire for a pair of games on January 6 and January 7 of 2018. On January 6, the Knights will take on the University of Maine at Augusta (2:00pm start time). The following day, Berkeley College will take on NHTI (12:00pm start time).